Hi Guys!

How are you doing? I’ve just spent a gorgeous weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan at my cousin’s wedding and am on my way back home later today. It’s been a ton of fun catching up with my mum, sister, and my extended family, and a really nice break from my usual day to day routine – even if only for a weekend.

Since it’s now June (whaaaaat?!), that means it’s also goal check-in time.

monthly goal check-in

As usual, the month flew past. One of my favourite things about May was seeing more of Vancouver by walking around, an activity I’m realizing has massive mental and physical benefits. But as far as the goals I set go, here’s how things went down:

1. Have a GREAT time at my first trail race of the year – A

Yeppers – it was great! I talked a bit about the 5 Peaks Golden Ears race last week in my triathlon training recap, and I’ve been really thankful that my coach is allowing me to integrate a bit of trail with my tri workouts. It’s great to have the variety, and I think the time on the trails is really helping to develop some strength in my quads and glutes for climbing. You also can’t ignore the fact that the scenery is absolutely beautiful – much nicer than any treadmill!

Solana and I at Golden Ears Provincial Park

Hanging out with my buddy and 5 Peaks race director, Solana

Psst – don’t forget that if you’re in the Vancouver area and want to race Alice Lake with me on June 6th, use ‘ANGELA’ at checkout to get $5 off your entry!

2. Boost my confidence on the bike by completing a cycling clinic – A

Done and done! Again, I talked about this last week so I won’t go on too long today, but this was hugely helpful. While riding on the trainer is great for the days when I need to log a long session, there’s nothing quite like riding on a real road, needing to clip in and out, shift gears, and dealing with traffic to become a better rider.

cycling selfie

I learned lots in the clinic, but some of the highlights were:

  • Riding in the drops (that’s the lower part of the handlebars) really isn’t as scary as I thought and actually puts you in a better position to get around corners.
  • Just like driving, when riding corners, look where you want to go, not at the curb or anything else around.
  • When turning corners, you want to tilt your bike into the corner and push weight into your outer foot. (So if turning right, bike tilts right, weight pushes down into the left foot.) But with that said, unless you’re really tilting right, you could pedal through the turn and not worry about scraping the pedal because women’s pedal cranks are typically shorter than men’s.
  • Coconut oil makes a wonderful grease remover if you happen to rub your leg, foot etc against your chain which I do pretty much EV.ERY.TIME.
  • You can totally ride if your shoes aren’t clipped in. This might sound super obvious but previously I always felt like I had to clip both in before I could really get going. Not the case.

3. Expand my social network – B+

This went quite well, although I did a better job of strengthening existing friendships rather than creating a bunch of new ones. It’s about quality over quantity though, right? 😉 I’m not going to lie – some days I really miss my friends from home. I certainly didn’t take them for granted, but being across the country and 3 hours behind, they definitely feel much further away. (Yes, even with the conveniences of the internet.)

With that said, there will continue to be lots of opportunities to meet plenty of new-to-me people – especially in June. So far I’ve met some amazing new friends at trail races, the cycling clinic I did last month, and at work, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them all better. Of course, I can’t wait until SeaWheeze this summer (which happens to fall on my birthday), because it means I’ll get to see these beauties again:

post-seawheeze race photo with medals

Ashley, Christina, Danielle and I at last year’s Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon

And now, with May behind us, here’s what’s on tap for next month…

3 goals for June

1) (Wet)suit up and do some open water swimming

My first triathlon of the year (which I chose as a prep race for Challenge Penticton Half) is the Subaru Vancouver Triathlon on July 5th. I’ll be doing the standard distance (1500m swim, 40K bike, 10K run), and while I’ve been feeling good about my run and bike skills lately, it’s time to muster up the courage to do some open-water swims. Just before I left Ontario, Jess and I got hooked up with some sweet 2XU wetsuits and now it’s time to put mine to use!

jess and i shopping for wetsuits

2) Kick my gum habit (again)

Ok, time to be straight-up honest. If you’ve been reading for a long time you may already know about my decision to eliminate artificial sweeteners from my diet, and for the most part, it’s happened. That was back in 2012 and I can still remember how terrible too much made me feel. The bloating, the stomach aches, the horrible moods, headaches… perhaps you’ve experienced some of these too.

gum

Over the past little while I’ve somehow managed to let gum sneak its way back into my life. I’ll often chew it after a meal to freshen my breath and to prevent eating out of boredom as opposed to hunger. If I’m working on something that needs a lot of focus, sometimes it helps me to concentrate. But too much brings back all of those nasty symptoms (thanks to the air swallowing and sugar alcohols and other sweeteners found in gum), and that’s no bueno.

I decided last Sunday to stop chewing it, and am pleased to let you know it’s been an entire gum-free week. Not surprisingly, I’ve been feeling so much better and hope that this awesome feeling is enough reinforcement to keep the motivation going strong. I’ll report back at the end of June on how this goes, but in the meantime, anyone fancy joining me in a month-long no-gum challenge?

3) Read Thrive by Arianna Huffington

… and by read, I mean listen to the freshly-downloaded audiobook. Thrive is a book I’ve heard so much about and have been wanting to read for a while now. But as with all reading projects, it’s about making the time to actually do it. That’s where the audiobook comes in. I bought it just before leaving for Michigan on Friday and will be listening while diligently taking notes on my flight home tonight.

Arianna Huffington (co-founder and Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post) is wayyyyyy high up there in my mind when it comes to inspiring female entrepreneurs. I have a huge appreciation and admiration for the way she encourages the world to re-define what success truly means – it’s not about what’s on our resumes that determines whether we’re successful, but about the experiences, relationships, memories and lifelong passions. I’m super excited to get stuck into this one.

Arianna Huffington - Thrive

Now tell me…

  • What are you working on in June?
  • How was May for you? Any big wins or big changes?
  • Have you read Thrive yet? If so, what did you think?